Actual beetle I saw, and photographed.
I saw a beetle crawling across my path. The sun was just up, to the beetle’s back, casting a long shadow in front of him, about two of the beetle’s body lengths. He was a good sized beetle as beetles go, but still a small object; I could have inadvertently stepped on him. We think of shadows being cast by big objects like clouds, trees, and buildings, but comparatively speaking, here was a big shadow being cast by a bug.
You can’t have a shadow without light. Light also happens to be a very important metaphor in the Bible. God is described as brilliant light. Jesus called Himself the light of the world and invited His listeners to walk in His light. We, too, are invited to draw near to the light of God, walk in His light, and in the light of His Word.
Back to the little object of a beetle casting a shadow bigger than himself. It’s all because of the angle of light in which he basks.
Shadows, of course, have no substance, no weight, no texture, and are one dimensional. They come and go and shift location with the movement of the light that casts them. Yet they can be helpful. Then we give them another name, shade, a good place to stand when it’s hot and sunny.
Here’s the life-principle I’m finding in all of this. No matter how small, insignificant, or unimportant we sometimes feel, when we draw near to God, the light of His presence means we cast a larger shadow of influence than we ever thought possible. We’re not big and important in and of ourselves, but the light of His presence makes us so!
Life is tough; all people in one way or another find themselves in a hot, dry, and thirsty land. Some of these folks are within our sphere of influence. When we walk close to God it’s as if His light casts a large portion of shade from us that can provide rest, comfort, and renewal for them. When we are blessed by God’s presence we can then be a blessing to others!
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.” Psalm 89:15